Individualism in Social Science

Review of Metaphysics 48 (1):125-126 (1994)
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Abstract

Bhargava's goal is to reinvigorate the debate about methodological individualism in the philosophy of social science, by identifying a clear and controversial form of that doctrine and by sketching a plausible nonindividualist alternative. He identifies several strands in traditional characterizations of methodological individualism, and focuses on two. The "ontological" strand insists that all social entities and their properties are constituted by individuals and their properties. The "explanatory" strand insists that all social phenomena are to be explained by reference to individuals and their properties. Bhargava focuses on a form of methodological individualism that is modelled on Elster's work, and which Bhargava calls "intentionalism."

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Joseph Mendola
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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